Warning: This blog is political in nature.

If you are sensitive to political commentary,
please go back to my main Random Thoughts blog.

If you like political discussion, you may also like my Political Positions blog.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Lukewarm Christians Make Me Sick

I'm getting sick (Rev 3:16) of the apparent apathy of Christians in the churches. Some say that Christians shouldn't get involved in politics, that there should be a separation of church and state.

Jesus said that we are to be salt and light, and said that we should not hide our light, but put it out where all can see (Mat 5:13-16). But some will object that Jesus didn't say anything there about political office. God said, "Blessed is the *nation* whose God is the Lord" (Ps 33:12).


But some will argue that God didn't say anything about *people* guiding that nation to being Godly.

Well, does this help?

God directly appointed Saul as king of Israel (1 Sam 9). Saul was godly in his early days - he sought the Lord's direction even in small things such as seeking lost donkeys.  I would take Saul as a warning to those who let the power and authority corrupt them, as in the saying, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." He was appointed by God; he misused his position, he disobeyed God, and God removed him.

God directly appointed David as king of Israel to replace Saul. David serves as an example of godly, but as always with men, imperfect leadership.

God then led the kingship of Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, who brought in Israel’s golden age, of which other world leaders stood in awe.

The queen of Sheba (the vast kingdom of Ethiopia spanning most of northern Africa) said (1 Kings 10:6-9) that she had been told of Israel’s greatness, but said that “the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.” She goes on to describe some important aspects of this greatness: “Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.” Israel was immensely wealthy, but that was not what was most important. Then we get the bottom line: “Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made He thee king, to do judgment and justice.” She then gave 120 talents of gold, which is worth $161.5M in today’s prices, as part of a gift that included also spices and precious stones.

Because Godly men followed God’s ways, and directed a nation to follow God’s ways, the world stood in awe, and they honored and respected God.


But those men were over the nation of Israel, a nation founded by God Himself, and some will argue that it does not apply to us.

Maybe these apply more directly?

God directed Joseph to become effectively Prime Minister of Egypt, second only to the king.

God directed Daniel to become effectively Prime Minister of Babylon in its height, second only to the king.

God directed Esther to become queen of Persia - which at that time, included everything from Africa to India. Then God used Esther to bring Mordecai to be second only to the king over all of Persia.

God directed Nehemiah to be cupbearer to Artaxerxes of Persia, while God did not give us the details of how he came to be there. We do know that God used Nehemiah to gain the favor of the king, to obtain financing to rebuild Jerusalem, eventually leading to the nation’s return to their homeland. Yes, the Persian empire financed the rebuilding of Israel, because God had placed the right man in the right place at the right time.


But - our nation has a Constitutional separation of church and state, right?

This is one of the worst examples of taking words out of context I have seen.

First, the phrase is not from the Constitution. What the Constitution actually says is that Congress may make no laws that either require nor restrict religious activity.

Second, the phrase comes from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist church, in which he went on to explain that the restriction is only in one direction - that the government is prevented from interfering with the church, but that Christians can - and should - be always involved in the government.

To prove the intent, we have only to look at the occupations of our nation’s founders. Here are a few (from http://ourfoundingtruth.blogspot.com/2007/10/founding-fathers-considered-clergy.html):
John Quincy Adams, the sixth President: Vice-President of the American Bible Society and Vice-President of the Massachusetts Bible Society.
Robert Treat Paine, signer of the Declaration, helped write the Massachusetts Constitution: Military Chaplain.
Rufus King, signer of the Constitution, Ratifier of the Bill of Rights: Manager of the American Bible Society.
Bushrod Washington, Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court: Vice-President of the American Bible Society, Vice-President of the American Sunday School Union.
John Lowell, Revolutionary officer, member of the Continental Congress, author of Article I of the Massachusetts Constitution: Member of the Society for the Propagating of the Gospel among the Indians and Others.
Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut: ordained pastor.
James Bowdoin,  Governor of Massachusetts: Member of the Society for Propagating the Gospel Among the Indians and Others.
John Cotton Smith, Governor of Connecticut, U. S. Congressman: President of the Litchfield County Foreign Missionary Society; first President of the Connecticut Bible Society; President of the American Bible Society; President of the American Board of Foreign Missions, Puritan minister.
John Treadwell, Governor of Connecticut, member of the Continental Congress: Member of the Missionary Society of Connecticut.

In fact, 27 signers of the Declaration of Independence had seminary degrees from universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton - which were founded primarily as Bible colleges, entirely unlike we know them today.

This list is somewhat misleading, however, since many, many others were known for their faith.

George Washington was known by his men to spend long periods in prayer.

Ben Franklin spoke during the Constitutional Convention on the need to bathe the meetings in prayer: “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”


It has been said that, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing," a quote attributed to one who is also one of the founders, Edmund Burke.

It has also been pointed out regularly by our pastors that sins of omission are just as much sins as those of commission, or to put it another way, "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

Will you sin by not doing what you can?
Will you let our country fall into decay because you chose not to get involved?
Or will you stand up against the tide of evil?
Will you stand up with those who are willing to fight for what is right?

Find Godly candidates for political office, and support them.
Give them financial support if you can.
Talk to others about them.
Knock on doors for them.
Call for them.
Put up signs for them.
And if God puts you into a place where you can run for office yourself, do it. School board, City council, County commission, Tax commissioner, whatever.
If God leads you to run, do it. If God does not lead you to run yourself, support someone who is.


If you are lukewarm, you make me sick. And God is getting sick of you too.


In preparation of this post, I found this decent refutation of false history: http://www.reclaimamericaforchrist.org/lettertopatriotpastors.htm. But the best source I have found of accurate educational materials is at http://www.wallbuilders.com.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Online Sales Tax

Sent to my Congressman and Senators:

Please vote against the online sales tax bill, at least in its current form.

This sounds like government trying to close a loophole, but then doing so by committee - coming up with the most convoluted solution possible.

First, the narrow focus of the bill  - which feels like a knee-jerk reaction - leaves other loopholes, such as catalog and phone sales, unless of course, the bill is incorrectly named.

It would be much simpler if all sellers simply collected taxes for where they are located, regardless of where the buyer is located. This would even be simpler than the current arrangement, where they collect tax for other states where they have arrangements.

In fact, this is already possible. A state can require sellers to collect tax on all sales and not exclude out-of-state buyers.

There is one problem. The federal government wants to fix the issue. But this is a state issue. State tax. State sellers. State buyers. State issue. Not federal.

If the federal government places restrictions on this possibility, then the current problem needs to be fixed, not more problems created, by removing improper regulations on the states, rather than creating yet more regulations.